PWD E-Bulletin

 

 

Issue 72 September/October 2011 - ISSN 2202-0705

Welcome to PWD’s E-Bulletin. The e-bulletin goes out to members and interested others regularly by email. For members who do not have access to email, a printed version of the e-bulletin will be sent by post.

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Are you a Member of PWD?

Do you believe that everyone is born equal and has the right to fully participate in community life, gain employment, get an education, receive health services, be free from violence and abuse and participate in political, cultural, social and recreational activities? Would you like to join a global movement of people fighting for the rights of the world’s most marginalised community?

If you’re not yet a member of PWD then check out the Membership section of our website. Membership doesn’t cost much, can be done via mail or email, and will ensure that your voice is heard in the processes that affect your life. Join Today!

Disability Rights Defenders

Whether you are a member of not, another significant way to support PWD is to become a Disability Rights Defender. Disability Rights Defenders help change lives by making a significant financial contribution to support the work of PWD through regular, monthly, tax-deductible donations. Regular donations help us pursue essential projects, such as systemic and legal advocacy projects, assist with conducting members’ and stakeholders consultations, enable us to work with Disabled People’s Organisations in the Pacific and in providing information and training to people with disability and their associates. If you’d like to know more about the Disability Rights Defender Program, click here.

Contents

New South Wales News

Other State and Territory News

 

National News

International News

The Inside Story

PWD Training Opportunities

Upcoming Events

About PWD

Privacy Statement

Contact Us

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New South Wales News

Research on the need for two care workers in a community setting

A PWD project team are working in partnership with the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at University of New South Wales (UNSW) to deliver a research project for Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) on the reasons for and the risks of using two, rather than one, worker in the Attendant Care Program (ACP) and the High Needs Pool (HNP). The project is currently underway and is due for completion in December 2011.

The use of two care workers in a community setting is an important issue for ADHC to the extent that some ADHC-funded agencies employ a two-person service policy as a way of ensuring the safety of clients and staff. However, having two workers performing the same task may not be the preference of the person receiving support, doubles the time involved and could lead to reductions in the amount of face-to-face service the client receives.

SPRC is currently undertaking a stakeholder consultation process and conducting a review of literature and policies regarding the employment of two-person service in hospital and other like settings as well as in the community. SPRC is investigating person centred approaches to care planning, manual handling and occupational health and safety practises in community based care and exploring the possibility of equipment and technological solutions that may reduce the need for two workers.

Following on from the literature review, the PWD project team has undertaken to develop a set of guidelines that will outline how the need for two carers in home care will be established and synthesise person-centred support user priorities and preferences with requirements to implement safe work procedures. PWD will also develop assessment tool forms for the ACP and HNP programs that will be used by service providers when requesting funding for additional hours to use a second carer and a training package to ensure that service providers receive training in the assessment process of both the preferences of support users, and identification, assessment and control of hazards.

For more information contact Emmie Hallett on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email emmieh@pwd.org.au

City of Sydney Council Accessibility Action Plan Consultation for Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Events

On 26 September PWD participated in the City of Sydney Council’s consultation with disability stakeholders on development of a ‘Sydney New Year’s Eve Action Plan’ to address the accessibility of the New Year’s Eve events in the Sydney CBD.

The Sydney New Year’s Eve event continues to be one of the largest fireworks displays in the world and the world’s most watched New Year’s Eve celebration, so inclusion of people with disability in the celebrations and access to the event is a priority.

The consultation provided the opportunity to discuss practical and achievable actions that will deliver outcomes of greater accessibility and for disability sector stakeholders to promote and raise awareness to City of Sydney staff. The City of Sydney will continue to consult with the disability sector to address access considerations in planning for the 2011 event and future events.

For more information contact Samantha French on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samf@pwd.org.au

In Control NSW

On Monday 10 October Steve Dowson facilitated a discussion about decision-making support for In Control NSW and invited guests from the peak and advocacy sector, the NSW Ombudsman and the Disability Council of NSW. 

This proved to be a very stimulating event, looking in some detail at the various types and levels of decision-making that take place within a support arrangement.  The context for this discussion was the identification of the need for decision-making support for some people who utilise the option to individualised their support packages under Stronger Together 2.  Those present were also mindful of the support that some people may need when the NDIS is implemented nationally some years from now.  It was a very useful session, necessary for us to understand the range of decisions that will need to be made, so that the type of support can be tailored more precisely and effectively.  This is an area of some interest amongst various groups and forums across NSW and it is hoped that future discussions can be consolidated as our sector is well positioned to take a lead on the kind of resources people with disability will benefit from the most.

Click here to go to full update on In Control Australia

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email michaelb@pwd.org.au

Living My Way: Person centred approaches consultations

The NSW State Government is leading a series of extensive consultations on the best way to implement person centred supports and individualised funding in NSW. More than 150 consultations have taken place at a range of locations across NSW with people with disability, their families and carers and service providers.

Consultations will be held with Aboriginal people with disability, their families, carers and communities between 26 September and 9 December 2011. These consultations will be facilitated by Aboriginal people in local communities around the state.

Consultations with culturally and linguistically diverse communities will be held from 10- 20 October 2011 at a number of locations in Sydney. Sessions will be conducted in 17 community languages and each will be run by a bilingual facilitator. There will also be one workshop (conducted in English) for service providers.

Click here to learn more about these consultations and view the schedule

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Other State and Territory News

Victoria: Disability discrimination rules bypassed in low-floor trams

PWD joins other advocacy organisations in expressing dismay over the development of new trams by the Department of Transport which knowingly breached federal anti-discrimination laws by ignoring wheelchair accessibility rules.

A tender assessment from September last year for 50 new "low-floor trams" reveals that the department decided a Disability Discrimination Act requirement for a step height between platforms and trams of no more than 12 millimetres was too onerous, instead asking for a cheaper 50 millimetre option, which is the European standard.

Click here to read the full story - Disability rules bypassed in low-floor tram rush, published in The Age on 12 September 2011.

Victoria: Bus Accessibility Test Sessions

Victoria’s Department of Transport is calling on volunteers to provide feedback on the current accessibility of low floor route buses.

The Department is particularly interested in the views of people who use mobility aids, people with vision impairment, older people and those travelling with small children in pushers and prams.

The test session is designed to gather feedback about:

  • The ease of boarding, alighting and manoeuvring on low floor buses for wheelchair and scooter users;
  • The characteristics, dimensions and manoeuvrability of mobility aids that are able to board, alight and be carried on low floor buses;
  • The characteristics of interior layouts, seating plans and fittings that would enhance functionality of buses for a range of different users.

The test sessions will be conducted by the Department of Transport.

Details of the Test Sessions:
Date: Monday, 24 October 2011
Times: 10.00 am -12.00 pm and 12.00pm- 2.00pm.
Location:  45 Miller Crescent, Mount Waverley VICTORIA

The test sessions will be held at the Mount Waverley Youth Centre – opposite the Mount Waverley Railway Station. Refreshments will be served, and an attendant carer will be present during all test sessions.

If you would like to participate in the test session, please call Katherine Simmons, 9655 8787 or email katherine.simmons@transport.vic.gov.au  to register your interest no later than 5 pm on Monday 17 October 2011. Further details will be provided to participants following their registration.

Bookings are essential as places are strictly limited.

Western Australia: New consumer body for mental health welcomed

A new consumer group has been established in Western Australia to advocate for people with psychosocial disability. The Consumer Mental Health Association will be independent from the government and will receive funding from the state's Mental Health Commission.

PWD has long advocated for a stronger consumer voice in the mental health sector and welcomes this new body as a step towards achieving greater control by people with psychosocial disability over their lives.

The Mental Health Minister Helen Morton says the association will provide a strong and empowered voice to people experiencing mental health conditions.

"They could provide input into important aspects of policy and other developments that are taking place in Western Australia around mental health at the moment," she said.

Ms Morton says it is important for the organisation to be independent.

"I think we're quite keen for it to stay like that because it's not something that we feel that we want to control or that the mental health commission has any direct influence over," she said.

Click here to read more about this new body – ‘United voice for mental health’ published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 19 September and ’New consumer body for mental health’ published on ABC News Online on 18 September 18.

Queensland: Preparing for the Digital Switchover – Household Assistance Scheme

On 6 December, a number of areas of regional Queensland will be switching off their analog TV signals. This means that all households in these regions will need to be watching digital TV either through a set top box or through a digital TV in order to continue to receive free-to-air TV from this date.

The areas of Queensland that will be switching are:

  • Capricornia
  • Darling Downs
  • Far North Queensland
  • North Queensland
  • Queensland Central Coast and Whitsundays
  • Wide Bay

 

The Australian Government has established the Household Assistance Scheme to provide assistance to eligible

households to switchover to digital TV, including the supply, installation and demonstration of a high definition set-top box.

Households will be eligible for assistance where they own a functioning TV, do not already have access to digital TV and at least one resident is in receipt of a maximum rate Age Pension, Disability Support Pension (DSP), Carer Payment, Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Service Pension or the DVA Income Support Supplement payment. Centrelink has written to maximum rate recipients inviting them to check their eligibility.

For more information on the Household Assistance Scheme, call 1800 55 64 43.

For more information about the switch to digital TV, visit www.digitalready.gov.au  or call the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 20 10 13.

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National news

Australia appoints its first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls

On 13 September the Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for the Status of Women, announced the appointment of Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls. This move signifies a very positive step towards greater equality for women and girls, not just in Australia but around the world.

PWD welcomed the announcement as a new way in which the rights of women and girls with disability around the world can be promoted and upheld

The Federal Government announced career diplomat Penny Williams would be Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls and in that role would ensure the needs of women and girls are properly represented in Australia’s overseas development program and in foreign policy more broadly. 

The Ambassador’s priorities include co-ordinating and promoting Australia’s work to eradicate violence against women, improving access to services for women, the protection of women and girls in conflict zones and increasing the representation of women in leadership roles.

Click here to read the full media release issued by the Federal Government

Click here to read the speech by the Hon. Kate Ellis, Minister for Women delivered on the day of the announcement

Launch of new funds for participation in international events

On 28 September PWD joined with representatives from the disability peak and advocacy organisations to welcome the official launch of new funds for Australians with disability and their representative organisations to participate in international human rights forums.  

 

The funding, which was announced in June 2011, was launched by Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers. At the launch, Senator McLucas invited people with disability and their organisations to submit applications for funding to attend international conferences.

 

Click here to read more about the funding announcement in PWD’s June Ebulletin.

“This funding, under our National Disability Strategy, will support delegations representing peak disability and advocacy organisations to better represent the needs of people with disability internationally,” said Senator McLucas.

“These organisations have long been advocating for people with disability, their rights and their needs and these grants are one of the ways the Australian Government is supporting them in their important role of representing this sector.

PWD congratulates the Australian Government on this practical initiative.  We have often struggled to fund participation in international human rights meetings, including the United Nations meetings for the development of CRPD, but have done so to ensure that the voice of people with disability in Australia is heard at the international level.  This funding will assist people with disability to participate and collaborate on our human rights issues and have a say at the international level.

 

The launch took place at the Human Rights Commission in Sydney, with Senator McLucas joined by Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes in welcoming this initiative.

Click here to read the media release and view the funding eligibility criteria on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

 

To read about the how this funding was used to support the Australian Delegation at the Disabled Peoples International (DPI) 8th World Assembly, read more below in the International News section titled Disabled People’s International 8th World Assembly.

Shut In Campaign: Update and Call for Endorsements

"People with disability have a right to live a full life, free from barriers which include institutions. They not only make people feel ‘shut in’ but create mental health issues due to isolation and seclusion. Inclusion is what our society is espousing more and more – let’s not go back into the dark ages and let’s let people with disability really live life with rights like anyone else in our society"  - Julie, in her message of support for the Shut In Campaign.

 

The Shut In Campaign has been overwhelmed by the response of individuals and organisations to our call for endorsements issued last month.

 

Individual and organisational endorsements can be seen on the Shut In Campaign website at www.shutin.org.au under the heading “Endorse the Campaign”. Messages of support from people who have endorsed the campaign can also be read on the website under “Messages of Support.”

 

PWD encourages readers to read the Shut In Position Statement on Housing and Support for People with Disability (click here to download), so you can consider whether yourself and/or your organisation can endorse the campaign and visit the Shut In website.

 

The Shut In Campaign continues to seek endorsements from individuals and organisations to put pressure on Australian governments to close institutions and secure housing and supports that enable people with disability to live in the community in the same way as everyone else.

 

Shut In is a human rights campaign, underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  It is made up of a number of national and state-based organisations all working to one aim - an end to the continuing congregation, segregation and isolation of people with disability in institutions and ensure people with disability are properly supported in ways which promote their full inclusion in the community.

 

Endorsements can be made by writing to info@shutin.org.au with your name (individual and/or organisation), a contact email and a postcode. For more information on the campaign and how to endorse it, please visit www.shutin.org.au

 

Endorsements will be published on the Shut In website, as well as used to support publications or position statements made by the Shut In Campaign.

Shut In Campaign: Upcoming activities

Ms Jan Daisley, PWD’s President and a staunch Shut In supporter, will be making a presentation at the Disabled Persons’ International (DPI) 8th World Assembly on Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  This Article outlines that right of people with disability to live independently and be included in the community.  During this presentation, Jan will be using Shut In as a case study on advocacy efforts in Australia for the closure of institutions. 

 

The DPI World Assembly takes place in Durban, South Africa from 10-13 October 2011.  Read more about Jan’s presentation, below in the Inside Story – From the President.

Response to Australian Government Human Rights Baseline Study

The Australian Government recently released a draft Baseline Study on the human rights situation of people in Australia.  The Baseline Study is first step towards implementing a National Human Rights Action Plan. 

 

In 2010, the Australian Government released the National Human Rights Framework rather than establish a Human Rights Charter for Australia.  Part of the Framework is the development of a new National Human Rights Action Plan.  The purpose of the Baseline Study is to survey the status of human rights in Australia so as to assist in identifying the priority areas of action for inclusion in the Action Plan.

 

PWD provided a comprehensive response to the Baseline Study highlighting gaps and making recommendations for the achievement of rights for people with disability in Australia.  Some of our key issues include:

  • Anti-vilification protection for people with disability should be included in the harmonisation of national anti-discrimination legislation;
  • Legislative protections against non-therapeutic sterilisation where there is no serious threat to life or health and in the case of adults, where there is no consent;
  • Legislation to recognise the right of all people in all situations to recognition before the law, to create a presumption of legal capacity for all people and to give precedence to supported decision-making arrangements as opposed to substitute decision-making arrangements;
  • An enhanced gender-specific prevention, detection and response framework to address the high levels of violence, abuse and neglect experienced by people with disability, particularly girls and women with disability;
  • Significantly increase the availability of social support services necessary for persons with disability to live in and be a part of the community (such as personal care, domestic assistance and daily living skills support);
  • Develop and implement changes to Australian building regulation that will ensure that all future residential accommodation is accessible and adaptable and that accessibility features are incorporated into any major renovation or redevelopment of existing accommodation;
  • Close all residential institutions accommodating people with disability, including those operated by non-government and private sectors and allocate and provide the resources necessary for people to move to individualised community based housing and support options that will support their inclusion and participation in the general community.

 

The submissions are now being considered by Attorney General’s Department with the final Baseline Study expected to be released in December 2011. The draft National Action Plan Exposure Draft will be released at the same time for public comment until February 2012.  It is expected that the final National Human Rights Action Plan will be launched in March 2011.

For more information contact Therese Sands, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email thereses@pwd.org.au

Australian Government appoints Disability Community Leaders

On 8 September the Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin and the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas, announced six Disability Community Leaders from across Australia, who will champion the cause of people with disability following their appointment by the Australian Government to promote the 2011 International Day of People with Disability and National Disability Awards.

 

PWD congratulates these Community Leaders and wishes them success in their new responsibilities.

 

The six Disability Community Leaders are:

  • Ms Suzanne Colbert AM – Sydney, NSW
  • Mr Michael Taggart – Salisbury, SA
  • Mr Peter Verwer – Sydney, NSW
  • Ms Ariane Garner-Williams – 18 years old, Balwyn North VIC
  • Mr Danny Dickson – 13 years old, Collingwood, Victoria
  • Mr Josh Alford – 15 years old, Cooma, NSW

 

“Each one is a leader in their own community. Whether it be personally or through their work, they are helping to break down the barriers of access, discrimination and exclusion faced by Australians with disability,” Ms Macklin said in a media release issued by the Government on the day of the announcement.

 

Click here to read the full media release.

Changes to Disability Support Pension (DSP) – Factsheet

A new factsheet, developed by the Welfare Rights Centre, which explains the changes that have come into effect or are about to come into effect in relation to the Disability Support Pension (DSP). 

 

These changes include:

  • a new requirement to have been with a program of support;
  • new impairment tables;
  • an ongoing residency requirement; and
  • a proposal to activity test those under 35.

 

Click here to download the FactSheet (word 78kb)

 

The changes that came into effect in September 2011 will impact on people whose disability is not regarded as “manifest” (as assessed under the current impairment tables) and who now will be required to undertake at least 18 months of job preparation activity prior to getting eligibility for the DSP.  The most immediate effect of this will be the requirement for people so designated to live on the Newstart Allowance, which provides around $130 less per week than does the DSP.  It is unclear how many people will be affected by these changes and what impact if any the lower payment will have on their wellbeing, especially in relation to the essentials of life like accommodation and food.  PWD, together with other agencies, are planning to undertake some survey work to gather information about people who have been affected and this will be promoted in the next edition of E-Bulletin.

 

Another measure that will impact upon people with disability are the changes being made to the Impairment Tables.  These tables are used to assess the extent to which a person’s impairment impacts on their functioning and thus the extent to which it precludes them from working. 

 

Details of the process by which these changes were made and the new tables themselves, are provided here on the FaHCSIA website

 

The limited testing that was done on the new tables indicated that up to 40% of people who currently receive the DSP would be rendered ineligible under the new tables.  Whilst this may be an over-estimate, there is no doubt that some of the effects will be to reduce the number of people receiving this benefit, being required to live off Newstart and to participate in a work program of some description.  This will affect new applicants for DSP from the beginning of 2012 and will also have potential impact upon those people who are chosen to have their benefits reviewed.  Again, the survey that is being devised will seek to gather information from people who are affected by these changes and what the impacts are. PWD also participates on the DSP Advisory Group.

For more information contact Michael Bleasdale, Executive Director on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email michaelb@pwd.org.au

FaHCSIA updates on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

On 10 August 2011, the Australian Government released the Productivity Commission’s report on disability care and support and started work towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

 

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) is now putting regular updates on their current activities regarding the NDIS their website as a way of keeping people informed.

 

If you are interested in finding out more and receiving updates as the Government continues on the path to this reform, you can register at www.fahcsia.gov.au/ndis

In Control Australia

As readers are aware, PWD is a member of In Control Australia, a group that is committed to ensuring that any new system of supports in Australia is developed in a way that ensures people with disability have the opportunity to control their own supports and their lives.

 

On 11 October the group invited PWD, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) and the Disability Advocacy Network of Australia (DANA) and other cross-disability peaks, to participate in a dialogue about how Disability Support Organisations (DSOs), which were discussed in the Productivity Commission report, will emerge and develop.  These organisations will be required to provide independent support to people with disability and families, who wish to have some assistance managing their supports.  The discussion in Melbourne, was very useful and benefited from having present Steve Dowson from the UK, who had visited Australia earlier in the year to keynote the National Disability and Carer Congress in Melbourne and the BiG Event in Sydney. 

 

This was the first conversation of its type and the participants have agreed to meet again, extend the group and to feed information back to the various processes that in train to develop the NDIS.  It is critical that organisations of and for people with disability are proactive in designing these new DSOs, which will be essential in guiding those people who require it in the various aspects of managing a support package.

CDA launches new look website and Facebook page

Children with Disability Australia (CDA) recently announced the launch of its new website, which has been redesigned with a fresh new look and has been updated with information about the organisation as well as providing essential links and information relevant to children and young people with disability in Australia. Please visit CDA online at www.cda.org.au 

 

You can also now follow CDA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CDISAUS by “liking” them on their page or through the link on the CDA website and get up to date information on what CDA is doing to address current issues related to children and young people with disability. 

 

CDA is the national peak body which represents children and young people (aged 0-25) with disability and their families. The organisation is an advocacy body with a mandate of building respect, recognition and inclusion for children and young people with disability.  The organisation works alongside families of children and young people with disability.

Accessible Tax Return information from the ATO

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) offers a range of free products in accessible formats to assist Australians with disability during tax time.

 

E-tax – the ATO’s free tax preparation and lodgement service - is compatible with screen reader software and is available to download from www.ato.gov.au/etax. 

 

You can also lodge your tax returns in paper by picking up TaxPack and TaxPack 2011 supplement from ATO shopfronts and most newsagents. TaxPack is also available on CD in audio format, on disk in DAISY and e-text suitable for use with screen reader softwares.

 

The ATO offers a service called “Tax Help”. Tax Help is free and is available to those who earned around $50,000 or less and have simple tax matters.  Tax Help volunteers are fully trained by the ATO and can help you with your tax return at a local community centre near you.

 

Tax Help is available by appointment only at convenient community locations until the end of October 2011.

Visit www.ato.gov.au/taxhelp or call the ATO on 13 28 61 to see if you are eligible for Tax Help.

  • For TTY users, phone 13 36 77 and ask for 13 28 61.
  • For speak and listen (speech-to-speech) relay users, phone 1300 555 727 and ask for 13 28 61.
  • Internet relay users can connect to www.relayservice.com.au and ask for 13 28 61.

New Touring Art Exhibition

PWD members may recall reading in Link-Up Edition 144 the article entitled “Tiwi Dreaming”.  This showcased the work of an artist’s cooperative in the Tiwi Islands, Ngaruwanjirri Inc, which produces wonderful paintings, sculptures and screen prints.  Penny Campton from Arts Access in Darwin (Penny also works with us on the Hotline) is curating an exhibition of work, entitled Good Strong Powerful, which will be touring Australia over the next 12 months. 

 

PWD understands that the exhibition is currently on at the National Art Gallery in Canberra.  It features work from the artists at Ngaruwanjirri, and also from the Mwerre Anthurre Artists, and the Julalikari Art Centre. 

 

Click here for more information about this exhibition.

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International News

Disabled Peoples' International 8th World Assembly

From 10-13 October, a delegation of Australian people with disability from People with Disability Australia (PWD) and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) represented Australia at the Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI) 8th World Assembly in Durban, South Africa.

 

The Assembly was a unique opportunity for the international network of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to come together to build their capacity to understand, implement and monitor the rights of persons with disability.

 

Delegates made presentations discussing how CRPD has been implemented and monitored in Australia, including discussions on the CRPD shadow reporting process, inclusion of people with intellectual disability in CRPD monitoring and cases of particular CRPD Articles and government non-compliance.

 

The Australian delegates to the Assembly were:

  • Jan Daisley, President, PWD;
  • Peter Cassar, Secretary, PWD;
  • Matthew Bowden, Executive Director, Leadership Team, PWD;
  • Samantha French, Advocacy Projects Manager, PWD;
  • Lesley Jarman, PWD member;
  • Lesley Hall - Chief Executive Officer, AFDO;
  • Dr David Webb – AFDO International Representative;
  • Janice Slattery – Self-Advocate, past AFDO Project Worker;
  • Brenda Lacey – AFDO Office Manager and Support Worker for Janice Slattery.

 

Daily updates on the Assembly are available on the PWD website – visit www.pwd.org.au/dpi-worldassembly2011.html for the full accounts.

 

To visit the Official DPI World Assembly Website go to www.dpi2011.co.za

 

AFDO and PWD gratefully acknowledge the funding we have received to assist us to participate in the DPI Assembly.

The Australian delegation were the first recipients of funding under the Supporting participation by representatives of people with disability in key international forums on human rights program, funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), and administered by the Human Rights Commission.

Regional Workshop to Accelerate the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

PWD recently participated at the Regional Workshop of Disabled People’s International (DPI) held on 18-21 August 2011, New Delhi, India.

 

The aim of the workshop was to support Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) towards accelerating the Implementation of the CRPD, through:

  • Building partnerships between DPOs and mainstream human rights organisations with the goal of advancing the CRPD; and
  • Mainstreaming disability perspectives in human rights mechanism, particularly in regards to the new ‘Asia Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities (2013-2022)’.

 

The workshop presentations and discussions provided preliminary observations and suggestions on action to progress regional cooperation and coordination for the advancement of the implementation of CRPD. The outcome statement developed by workshop participants, referred to as the ‘Delhi Recommendations’, will also contribute to the new strategy of the Asia Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities.

 

PWD worked with other Pacific DPOs (PNG Assembly of Disabled Persons and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations) to ensure that Pacific issues were highlighted in discussions and that the final Recommendations reflected key priorities for the Pacific region, namely those contained in ‘Pacific Disability Strategy’. However, under-representation of DPOs from the Pacific region continues to be an issue at the broader regional and international levels.

 

You can download the final ‘Delhi Recommendations’ and conference presentations from www.dpiap.org

For more information contact Samantha French on one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin or email samf@pwd.org.au  

Disability Rights Fund Receives AUD$1.2 Million from AusAID

On 6 September the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) announced the receipt of a $1.2 million grant from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). This grant will provide ongoing support for grantmaking to disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) to advocate for their rights.

 

“This contribution underscores the Australian government’s ground-breaking commitment to disability inclusive development,” stated DRF’s Director Diana Samarasan, “and supports Australian Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd’s, recent declaration that, ‘enhancing the lives of people with disabilities has been incorporated within the core development objectives of the aid portfolio.’”

 

PWD looks forward to this funding being used to support the human rights advocacy of DPOs in the Pacific region.

The DRF, using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a framework, supports the human rights advocacy of DPOs in the Middle East, Eastern Europe/former Soviet Union and the Global South.

 

Click here to download the full media release issued by the Disability Rights Fund.

Fourth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

On 7 September, delegates from governments and civil society around the world gathered at the United Nations in New York to discuss ways to improve the lives and well-being of people with disability by addressing some of the challenges we face, including unemployment.

 

The three-day Fourth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) brought together up to 500 delegates, including 78 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with more than 300 representatives, under the theme “Enabling Development, Realizing the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

 

During CRPD development, PWD participated in several of the UN Ad Hoc Committee meetings and undertook two consultative processes with people with disability throughout Australia on the CRPD.  The final text of CRPD, in many aspects, reflects the content of the consultation reports and interventions of PWD and PWD continues to play an ongoing role in its monitoring and implementation.

 

At a news conference at UN Headquarters, Australia’s Ron McCallum, the chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stressed the need to provide employment opportunities for people with disability to help them support themselves and give them the opportunity to use their talents for the larger good of society.

 

“It is only through employment that we can play full roles as citizens in our countries. It is only through employment that we can use our talents to contribute to the better of society. It is only through employment that we can support ourselves and our families,” said Mr McCallum.

 

He pointed out that too much money was being spent on disability pensions and social welfare benefits in some countries instead of genuine employment opportunities.

 

Click here to read the full media release issues by the UN News Centre.

Report from UK: Disability hate crime

An article which appeared in The Guardian on 12 September ‘Disability hate crime is our shame’ highlighted a disturbing trend emerging in the UK.

 

A report by the UK government's Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) into disability hate crime highlights 10 cases in which people with disability faced severe abuse, nine of which resulted in the abused person's death. All of the victims involved complained to the police or social services in the months leading up to their death and yet in five of the cases there wasn't even a formal review into any potential failures by the authorities.

 

The article argues that it is the particular vulnerability of some people with disability, such as those trapped in houses, care homes or hospitals, make it much harder for this issue to gain visibility in the wider community.

 

Click here to read the full article.

Pacific Disability Forum holds Youth with Disabilities Planning Meeting

The Pacific Disability Forum (PDF), in partnership with the Pacific Leadership Program organised a three days Youth With Disabilities Planning Meeting, held from 21-23 September 2011 at Pacific Theological College, in Suva, Fiji.

 

PWD is a member of the PDF and has worked with the forum for many years to build the capacity of Pacific Island Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to provide a strong voice for people with disability in the Pacific.

 

The workshop was attended by more than eight young people with disability and five observers representing four DPOs around the Pacific.  Chief Guest Mr. Sam Vilsoni, the President of the Fiji Disabled Persons Association (FDPA) reminded the participants that they were the leaders of tomorrow and it was very important for them as youth with disabilities to know their rights and excel in advocating for disability issues to another level.

 

To read the full story, visit the PDF website at www.pacificdisability.org

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The Inside Story

From the President

Hi All,

 

Another month has flown by and during that time we very sadly received the news of the passing of Robert Farley on 28 August 2011. Mathew, Joe, Hazel, Peter and I all travelled to Raymond Terrace for the funeral service. It was a very simple but very moving service. Heidi Forrest who knew Robert very well delivered a eulogy supported by Matthew.

 

The Eulogy is now available to be downloaded and read from the PWD website. Click here to read Heidi’s powerful words.

PWD sent a wreath from everyone in Robert’s favourite colours. It was a long day but well worth the effort to pay our respects to a most loved, hardworking President. Robert will be remembered for his dedication and many achievements throughout his life, may he rest in peace. 

 

As group of us travelled to Durban on 6 October to participate in the Disabled Persons’ International 8th World Assembly. Matthew is giving a presentation on a paper he has submitted and I will be presenting with Peter on our submission, which relates to Deinstitutionalisation. As part of this we will be including some of the material from the ‘Shut-In’ campaign and referring to our personal experiences and research around Devolution. We also intend to do a lot of networking with other people at the conference. We should return home more knowledgeable on what other countries are doing and where they are up to in the fight to secure and uphold the rights of people with disability. For more information on this event, please visit this webpage on the PWD website which has updates and summaries of each day’s activities - www.pwd.org.au/dpi-worldassembly2011.html

 

I would also like to thank FaHCSIA for providing funding to the joint PWD/AFDO delegation and acknowledging the importance of this event to representative organisations like ourselves.

 

I would like you all to start thinking about the upcoming Board election and Annual General Meeting, which will take place on Friday 25 November 2011. We have received some good nominations for the Board. If you need help to vote, please contact the office for assistance.

 

That’s all from me in this edition; I look forward to relaying the South African experience at a later date.

Jan Daisley – President, People with Disability Australia (PWD)       

PWD launches new Online Donation System

I’m pleased to announce that PWD has a brand new Online Donation System! This system will dramatically streamline the way we receive donations.

 

From now on, anyone can to make a one-off donation to PWD can click on the “Donate Now” button on our website and payment will be processed securely by this online donation site.

 

Everyone who makes a donation online will receive an instant email confirmation of this tax deductible donation, for donations of $2 of more (please note: If you are a non-resident of Australia for taxation purposes, please seek your own professional advice in respect of the tax deductibility of your donation). 

 

Of course, for those wishing to make a more long-term commitment to PWD, the option of becoming a Disability Rights Defender is still the best. People wishing to become a Disability Rights Defender can just head onto the PWD webpage www.pwd.org.au/donations and download the relevant form.

 

PWD welcomes all donations as funding which will go towards our independent, free and fearless advocacy services for people with disability.

 

Daphnee Cook – PWD Communications and Membership Development Manager

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PWD Training Opportunities

PWD is currently reviewing its training on offer and making changes to its existing training packages.

 

In the 2011/2012 financial year, PWD will no longer be issuing a training calendar with fixed training but instead will be providing a training brochure detailing the training options on offer. In addition, we will also be marketing customised training packages that can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of individual organisations and/or services.

 

We will continue to offer our two-day Responding to Sexual Assault training which aims to challenge myths surrounding sexual assault and people with intellectual disability, build capacity of staff to support victims of sexual assault, as well as decrease the vulnerability of people with intellectual disability to this crime. Also available is our one-day Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) training which provides a discussion of the development of the CRPD, the rights enshrined in it and the practicalities of implementing these rights, as well as information about its available complaints process.

 

PWD will continue to provide Disability Awareness training, however in a new, flexible format with core and optional supplementary modules. Core modules will provide a general introduction to disability awareness, exploring the concept of disability, the myths and facts surrounding it, as well as respectful language and communication. Supplementary modules will include customised components that incorporate information, case scenarios and examples applicable to the context in which the training is delivered.

 

PWD will continue to focus on developing and delivering training in its expertise areas of abuse and neglect as well as disability and human rights. In addition, we remain open to discussing the development of specific training based on interest.

Further information is available from our website.

 

Alternatively, contact PWD Training:
Telephone: (02) 9370 3100
Email: training@pwd.org.au

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Upcoming Events

26-28 October 2011: Stanwell Tops, NSW SPARK Festival 2011 Creative Arts Festival for people with disability run by JunctionWorks. Early bird bookings now open. Click here for the early bird flyer.

 

17-18 November 2011: Adelaide FECCA Conference 2011 – Advancing Multiculturalism Australia’s Pre-eminent Multicultural Conference. Visit www.fecca.org.au for more information.

 

25 November 2011: Sydney PWD Member Event and Annual General Meeting. Level 2, Mercure Sydney Hotel, 818-820 George Street, Sydney 5-8pm.

 

25-28 November 2011: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ProIcat 2011 25-28 November 2011. Visit www.beautifulgate.org.my/pro-icat/programmes/conference/ for more information.

 

27-30 November 2011: University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.  Disability Studies: Every Body In Inaugural Conference.  Visit www.otago.ac.nz/disabilitystudiesconference for more information.

 

29 November - 2 December 2011: Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne. State of Australian Cities National Conference Visit www.soac2011.com.au for more information.

 

1 December 2011: Townsville, QLD. “Clever Business” is Smart Thinking for everyone: Transition from education to employment & inclusion, with focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities. Visit www.riaustralia.org/images/RIAusTownsvilleWorkshop1Dec11.pdf for more information.

 

7-9 December 2011: Hunter Valley, NSW Accessing the Future: Instruct, Inspire, Include - Inclusive Technologies and Learning Disability in Education and Employment Conference. Visit www.biturl.net/ndco-atf for more information.

 

12-14 March 2012: Bangkok, Thailand Conference on Disability-Inclusive MDGs and Aid Effectiveness. Visit www.conferencealerts.com/seeconf.mv?q=ca18msm3 for more information.

 

24-25 March 2012: Honolulu, Hawaii. Pacific Rim International Forum, hosted by the Centre on Disability Studies (CDS), at the University of Hawaii. For more information please contact Charmaine Crockett prinfo@hawaii.edu

 

26-27 March 2012: Honolulu, Hawaii. Living to Our Complete Potential – 28th  Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity For more information visit www.pacrim.hawaii.edu or email prinfo@hawaii.edu

 

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About PWD

People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWD) is a national disability rights and advocacy organisation. Our membership is people with disability and organisations made up of people with disability. Individuals and organisations committed to the disability rights movement can join PWD as associate members.

PWD was founded in 1981, the International Year of Disabled People, to provide people with disability with a voice of our own. We have a cross-disability focus and represent the interests of people with all kinds of disability.

As a non-profit, non-government organisation we increasingly depends on membership fees, public donations, bequests and fundraising activities to maintain our commitment to improving the lives of people with disability. PWD is a deductible gift recipient so donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible.

Your tax deductible donation will mean we can continue to maintain our services. If you are interested and would like to support PWD please visit www.pwd.org.au/donations.html

For information about membership, contact PWD on email pwd@pwd.org.au or one of the numbers listed at the end of this E-Bulletin.

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Privacy statement

We are committed to protecting your privacy. In doing so, we commit ourselves to conforming to the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Bill 2000, which came into effect in December 2001 and the National Privacy Principles issued by the Australian Privacy Commissioner. This newsletter is distributed by email. You have provided us with an email address. This email address will be used only for the purpose for which you have provided it and you will not be added to any other mailing lists unless you specifically request that this be done. Your email address will not be disclosed without your consent.

You can have your email address removed from the mailing list for this newsletter by sending an email to pwd@pwd.org.au. This newsletter contains links to websites. We cannot be held responsible for the privacy practices (or lack thereof) or the content of such websites.

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Contact us

Please note that PWD publishes items contributed by other organisations at our discretion. While we will assist where possible in the dissemination of information, we do not take responsibility for the promotion or advertisement of events organised by other organisations.

If you would like to receive PWD E-Bulletin in an alternative format or have an enquiry, contact PWD by email pwd@pwd.org.au or on one of the numbers listed below.

People with Disability Australia Incorporated
PO Box 66 Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Phone 02 9370 3100, toll-free 1800 422 015
TTY 02 9318 2138, toll-free 1800 422 016

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